In brief: You might think that Meta has abandoned its plans for digital currency following the major flop that was Facebook's 'Libra' (renamed to Diem), an ill-fated cryptocurrency that officially met its demise earlier this year. However, quite the opposite is true: it looks like Meta still believes in the potential for digital currencies and is already planning a host of new offerings in this area, though none of them seem to be using blockchain tech.
Reports claim that Meta plans to introduce various virtual "coins, tokens, and lending services" to its apps moving forward – just in time for the nebulous VR-based "Metaverse" concept that CEO Mark Zuckerberg and co are attempting to popularize.
One virtual currency, in particular, has been nicknamed "Zuck Bucks" within Meta, according to a report from Ars Technica. The outlet's sources say the currency won't be Libra 2.0 but will instead be a non-blockchain token that would be fully controlled by Meta. Ars uses Roblox's "Robux" currency as an example, but others would include Fortnite's V-bucks, World of Warcraft's Gold, or any other in-game token that can be exchanged for virtual goods and services.
Without knowing what the Metaverse actually is, we can't say what Zuck Bucks could be used for. However, we wouldn't expect a massive deviation from other, already-established in-app currencies (like those mentioned before), so at the very least, it's probably safe to assume users can trade Bucks between each other.
In addition to Zuck Bucks, Meta is also allegedly developing "social" tokens that seek to reward users for contributing to the company's various platforms in a "meaningful" way. "Creator coins" are also reportedly in development and will be linked to Instagram influencers. It's unclear how said influencers will earn those coins, or if they even have to earn them at all – maybe they hand them out to followers?
Meta's finance influence could spread even more; far beyond its own apps. Ars says the company is aiming to offer small business loans at "attractive rates" as well, which would give it a firm foothold in the real-world financial sector.
Whether or not any of these projects will ever see the light of day remains to be seen. Either way, it's clear that Zuckerberg and co have a lot of irons in the financial fire right now, so stay tuned for further news on those plans.
Masthead credit: Dima Solomin